Every sales rep appreciates winning a big order from a key customer; but it’s rarely appropriate for him or her to say so to the customer. Saying ‘Thank you for your business’ in today’s highly competitive business environment simply does not create value.
Top performing sales executives recognize that B2B customers buy their solutions because to do so makes good business sense for the customer’s organization.
That isn’t to say that personal relationships don’t play an important role in the process. Strong relationships throughout the complex network of buying influences can play a significant strategic role in one’s ability to understand and communicate the relevant value that their solutions offer their customers’ organizations, to the exclusion of the competitors.
World class sales organizations train, coach, and provide the tools necessary to enable their sales reps to systematically investigate, identify, quantify, and prioritize customers’ specific value drivers, and enable them to formulate and communicate high value solutions across the buyer’s organization in order to clearly differentiate their offering against the competition.
Receiving a big order is confirmation that the sales team has successfully established its solution as offering superior value. This is no time to weaken your value proposition with little league ‘thank yous’. Receipt of the order means that it’s time to proactively manage your customer’s post purchase evaluation phase. A strong competitor is not going to go down without a fight, and purchase orders have been known to be withdrawn after their award for a variety of reasons. Receipt of the purchase order means it’s time to reconfirm to all of the important buying influencers that their decision was the correct one. Saying ‘thank you’ serves virtually no purpose towards this objective.
Send your customer a message that successful execution of this project is a top priority to your organization, and that it will be planned and executed in a manner that exceeds the expectations of the customer. Solid on-time and on-budget delivery is all the ‘Thanks’ your customer needs.
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